About Thai Food
Food, glorious food would be an appropriate song for the gourmet
traveller to sing when visiting Thailand, for Thai cuisine is surely one of
mankind's most delicious and exciting culinary art forms. Once almost
unknown outside Thailand, the delights of Thai cuisine are now to be found
in countless restaurants around the world, but they are best enjoyed, of
course, in their country of origin.
Although it draws heavily on several of the great Asian culinary
traditions, particularly Indian and chines, Thai food is unique, for its
subtle combination of myriad ingredients, spices, herbs and sauces.
The tastes of Thailand range from hot curries to mildly aromatic desserts
and can sometimes surprise the visitor, for instance in the combination of
both sweet and salty elements in the same dish. The huge variety of natural
ingredients used, and the complexity of receives will certainly be one of
the greatest treats in store for lovers of fine food when visiting Thailand.
One popular misconception
about Thai cuisine is that it is
invariably hot - 'chili hot', that is. In fact, many dishes are no hotter or
spicier than any other Asian style. Chili is often an optional ingredient
which diners add to their taste.
What Comprises a Thai Meal :
Main Dishes :
Thailand produces excellent poultry, including chicken, duck and pigeon.
These may be cooked in many ways, wrapped in panda nus leaves, made into a
curry, barbecued, casseroled, or stuffed with tomatoes, onions, or even
ground pork. Meats are invariably cut into small pieces which are then
cooked in various ways. Among the favorite methods of preparation are fried
with garlic and Thai pepper, or as part of a curry, particularly gong
keowan, green curry. Thailand's seas and inland waterways provide a huge
selection of fresh and dried seafood. These include lobsters and crayfish,
prawn, crab, mussels, clams and an almost endless variety of fish.
soups can feature virtually any kind of ingredient, from mushrooms and
pumpkin to shrimp and catfish, or any type of meat. Some are flavored with
coconut milk, while others are based on fish or meat. Stock. Probably
Thailand's most famous soup in tom yum gun, a hot and soup prawn mixture
with a tongue tingling taste achieved by mixing the flavors of chili, lemon
grass and fresh lime juice.
These are rarely simply boiled in the western way. Rather, they are
stir-fried with garlic and oyster sauce, or steamed, in which case they are
often eaten with small fried fish and a pungent shrimp sauce. Salads, too,
hardly resemble their western counterparts. A typical salad might include
beef and chili, plus strips of lettuce and tomato, or green mango, or green
round off a great meal. Thailand offers some really delicious desserts.
Often made from rice, tapioca or types of jelly, these are mixed with fruit,
fresh or preserved, and chipped ice. They provide the perfect complement to
a rich and spicy meal. Not to be missed are sangkaya gap kanoon, coconut
custard with jack fruit pieces, chow-neeo ma-muang, sticky rice with mango
and eye-teem kati, coconut ice-cream.
Finally, a word about Thai fruits. These are abundant in number and
variety, but among the best are pineapple, banana, orange, pomelo,
mangosteen, rambutan and lychee.
About Thai cuisine, its preparation and cooking is easy in Thailand, for a
number of leading hotels in Bangkok and phuket offer cooking courses for the
amateur chef. Thai's royal orchid holidays active Thailand programme
includes such cookery courses. A wide selection of Thai cookery books are
also available for study at home.